A Traditional Nantucket Home Gets A Streamlined Update


This airy kitchen features sleek, shallow ceiling beams, nautical light fixtures, and kitchen island with shiplap detail and statuary marble countertop. The dark gray of the perimeter cabinets is repeated in the leather bar stools from Thomas Hayes Studio.


For a couple with two nearly-grown children looking for a spacious, elegant and comfortable coastal retreat, designer Valerie Grant and architect Matt MacEachern designed a light and streamlined version of a traditional Nantucket home.

“The home was designed with the idea that this space will become more of a permanent residence once the children are out of the house,” explains Grant. “With that in mind, we looked to create a home that integrated classic Nantucket vernacular with a sophisticated and comfortable modern layout that accommodates contemporary living.”


Antique beams give a warm, lived-in aesthetic to this airy room. Round, sculptural ceiling fixture contrasts with the horizontal lines of the beams and shiplap accent wall. Subdued furnishings accentuate the views of the pool.

The design team drew inspiration and design cues from the site: located on a hill at the end of Monomoy Road, it looks over the neighbors’ homes, with direct sightlines into Nantucket Harbor. The elevation allowed the architect and designer to both leverage spectacular views of the harbor from the second-floor deck and the adjacent roof walk and develop outdoor spaces that afford privacy.


The pool area, ringed by a hedge, allows for plenty of privacy. The new house beautifully reflects the island’s classic style.

On an island, outdoor living is as important as—if not more—than the interior. The first-floor design revolves around the outdoor living areas, positioned to make the most of the sun’s path throughout the day. Given the topography and the gently sloped grade, the architect chose to create deck spaces, which thoughtfully transition between indoor and outdoor programs. Protection from the sun is provided by varied levels of shading; a large pergola off the kitchen and living area filters light and softens the stronger midday sun.


Designed in collaboration with the client, the sculptural staircase combines white oak, metal and glass. The focal point of the room, it is complemented by a neutral, low seating area, which features natural materials – linen, sisal, rattan, wood and leather. A terrace overlooks Nantucket Harbor.

Inside, painted and natural white oak finishes dominate, arranged in various patterns. A sculptural stair, designed in collaboration with the owner, connects the living room to the roof walk. To offset the clean look, consultant Elisa H. Allen suggested integrating antique beams into the living room ceiling, set at distances indicative of historic farmhouse framing. The interiors exude relaxed elegance, blending the coastal feel with the same streamlined, modern aesthetic that defines the architecture. Prominent throughout the house is Grant’s interest and keen eye for surface details: layers of texture, color and pattern create visual interest in each room.


The master bedroom features eye-catching architectural details—coffered ceilings and chevron-patterned headboard wall—and soothing shades of blue. Wood veneer light fixture was sourced locally.

Interior Designer: Valerie Grant
Architect: Matt MacEachern / Emeritus Ltd.
Kitchen/Bath design and Interior Hardscape: Elisa H. Allen
Styling: Doretta Sperduto
Photography: Read McEndree

For more like this Nantucket home, be sure to check out this graceful vacation home on Kiawah Island.

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